The South African mining sector has faced its own fair share of challenges over the past few years. Changes in economy, complexities with labour, rising costs, and political uncertainty have taken their toll on an industry once known for its stability. In 2020, this picture has slowly changed, in spite of an even more uncertain and volatile situation. Over the past year, mining has been turning around – the lumbering beast slowly gaining momentum in terms of growth and employment.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mining sector, with the mining
and quarrying industries contracting by 73.1% between Q1 and Q2 of 2020, contributing significantly
to SA’s overall GDP contraction of some 16.4%. A negative impact on the mining sector is therefore a negative impact on the country. Local mining companies simply cannot afford any further financial shrinkage due to operational closure. Mining executives need to strike the right balance between productivity, cost and specifically safety. Safety is even more paramount, especially now when the COVID-19 pandemic is still rife.
Striking this right balance requires innovative thinking and technology.
As employees using personal devices to do work becomes ubiquitous, enterprises need to carefully assess the advantages and disadvantages to assess the safest way forward.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has brought with it so many fundamental changes in the way we do business that enterprises cannot ignore the digital transformation necessary to keep up and stay competitive.
There is no disputing the fact that it is time for digital transformation and many companies are at a point in their digital transformation journey where they have to move on.
Employing around 454 861 people and contributing R R360.9 billion to the South African gross domestic product (GDP) during 2019 (according to the Minerals Council of South Africa) the mining sector continues to play a critical role within the South African economy.